Na nga def! Hello!
We are Awalé, an eight piece band born out of London's cultural melting pot. Formed in 2009, we released our first album in 2012. It was well received by the media such as BBC radio 3 and appeared on international radio and TV. We've had many performance highlights such as supporting Grammy award winners and world music heavyweight Tinariwen in Tunisia.
Since 2017, we have been writing new material as a creative collaboration between Senegalese singer Biram Seck and French musician Thibaut Remy.
Yewoulen - Wake Up!
That is the title track of our album. it represents our ethos by calling on people to unite rather than focus on their differences.
Ndimbal - Help!
We have worked tirelessly to create what is our best music to date. Hours, days and months of writing, rehearsals, trials and errors, and recording. We have now reached the point where we know we have a great record, and we need your help to raise funds to complete the production and release stages. The money pledged will go towards mixing, mastering, artwork and pr (press agents, photos, videos). We are very grateful for all your donations, without which we couldn't achieve our dream. So we have a number of rewards to express our gratitude to you.
Misik - The Music (and the musicians):
The son of a Gawlo (minstrel caste), Senegalese singer and songwriter Biram Seck has a voice truly unique for it’s raw husky quality and deep emotion. He has woven enthralling melodies and a captivating feeling in the music, demonstrating the wide reach and adaptability of Senegalese singing styles. He sings in Wolof, French and English.
We draw inspiration from traditional styles embodied by the music of greats such as James Brown, Orchestra Baobab from Senegal, the king of Nigerian afrobeat Fela Kuti and great Latin bands such as Fania All Stars. The compositions of French guitarist Thibaut Remy are instinctive and playful, each allowing space for their own universe to emerge.
This is brought to life by a great combination of band members:
Senegalese Kaw Secka and Medoune Ndiaye both play exhuberant Sabar drums and have played with the greatest such as Youssou N'dour. They bring intense, spiritual and irresistible poly rhythm conversations in conjunction with British drummer Ben Brown.
Having studied at the Royal Academy of Music, Ben's playing encompasses anything from jazz, pop music & hip hop to electronic music, reggae & Jewish music with an extensive knowledge of African & Latin American music. He has already established himself as a sought after drummer, for his rock solid groove, subtle touch and reactivity. Check out his band Waaju!
We also have in the team Yusuf Ahmed who shares drumming duties with Ben. Yusuf has an incredible touch and spirit that transpires in his playing through and through
Combined with Kevin Toublant on bass, really makes up for a heavenly groove. Graduated from the Conservatory Of Rennes (France) in 2011, then moved to London in 2012. He has played with a broad range of artists: Roisin Murphy, Earl Thomas, Ky, Guang, Leroy Duncun, Fuse Box City, Wonderboy, Doigt Droit, The Dowtown Dukes, Republik, Human Feax, Abbeon Fat Track. Check out his project MadMadMad!
Also on bass duties is Nigerian Michael Idowu. His CV reads as a who's who of afrobeat and gospel music, his grooves are tight and soulful, and improvisations inspired and tasteful!
Last but not least are the horn players, they're integral to the music of Awalé. John Martin on saxophone is long established on the jazz scene. He is a member of the critically acclaimed contemporary jazz folk septet Metamorphic and the Dr Das Dubnoiz Coalition, the side project of Dr Das, the bass player and founding member of the Asian Dub Foundation.
Laurence Wilkins on trumpet is studying jazz at the Royal Academy of Music. He is already a part of the new London jazz scene making waves with his project Zeñel.
So we have a band that makes a rich multi layered music, bringing so many combined influences and making for exhilarating live shows.
We also have some very special guests on the record:
trumpet: Joe Auckland, Dominic Ntoumos.
tenor saxophone: Ben Somers.
baritone saxophone: Ben Somers, Harry Greene.
trombone: Bob Dowell, Ed Rieband.
drums: Pat Levett.
flute: Gareth Lockrane.
congas: Jozef Berk.
Yóbbante - The message:
The band ethos is encapsulated one of Biram's quotes:
“I would like you to consider my songs messages of education, peace, unity and civilization. I love music because it is a means of communicating ideas to broaden minds and build an integrated world, a world of peace.”
Jëre-jëf - Thank you:
We are very grateful for every donation and pledges that will help to realize our dream to release and tour the Yewoulen album. We cant wait to share it with you, and we hope to meet you somewhere along the road.
Salaam alaikum - Peace be with you.